Friday, January 03, 2014

French Metal Friday: The Betrayer's Judgement-Philosopher

Twin Peak Records

"Godzilla meets Mothra. Hardcore meets Djent. Destruction ensues. The audience is in awe." 

That's pretty bold right? And yet that's what greeted me when I went to check out the latest release from France's own The Betrayer's Judgement. While I wouldn't say if left me in "awe" I will say that when it was all said and done this 6-track EP left me with an overall favorable impressive of this young French metal/hardcore act. Harsh, almost death metal-like (and most assuredly imposing!) lead vocals come from Cyril Szczepaniak while guitarist Jean-Aimé Leclercq handles the "clean" singing. It's a combination that seems to work out well for The Betrayer's Judgement and with "Philosopher" offering plenty of huge metal riffs to go along with the more melodic moments it seems as if it would be hard to argue that this band has anywhere to go but up. This is not the band's first go around as they do have the 12-track "Run Out Of Fuel" from 2011 as well as a cover of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" (also released in 2013). For those new to the band though this one seems like a good place to start as any. On the plus side it's technical enough all around to keep you focused in on where this French act might be going next. With each new emerging moment there's a chance that this whole house of cards is either going to collapse or explode so you do end up waiting with heavy breath to see which direction it will go. And, as the band shifts between the ultra-heavy, riff-happy metallic barrage that is modern metal/hardcore and off-the-cuff, spontaneous melodies they do it decisively well. It does keep you on your toes. On the down side though this EP does remind me entirely too much of modern metalcore. Blame the harsh/clean vocal-interplay and radical shifts if you want, but the difference between metalcore and hardcore/djent doesn't seem all that great (divide-wise) to me. Still, for what it is worth and all that jazz folks, I'd take a release like this any day of the week over the bulk of metalcore releases that inevitably all show up at once (and usually from one particular label in general-no names please)! and threaten to drive me insane with the same set-up of thrash, breakdown, thrash, breakdown, etc!

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